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Intellectual property suit against StubHub to continue

StubHub and its parent company eBay remain at the forefront of an intellectual property lawsuit after a judge ruled it was allowed to continue.

In 2015, tech holding company Calendar Research filed the suit alleging that the secondary ticketing employees Michael Hunter Gray, Lisa Dusseault and Lasha Efremidze, the co-founders of a start-up called Calaborate, stole trade secrets in an effort to develop its own similar mobile apps.

The trio have been accused of planning on exploiting proprietary data to develop apps for StubHub, including a group-scheduling platform similar to an existing Calaborate app called Klutch.

Calendar, which acquired Calaborate from the StubHub employees, accuses them of downloading proprietary information that belonged to Calaborate, which they allegedly planned to use to create a comparable app for StubHub.

Earlier this year, the secondary ticketing firm was successful in a judgement that ruled it was not culpable in using Calaborate’s source code in its own apps.

However, Calendar has been granted the right to move ahead with other claims under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) of 2016 – including allegations it misappropriated the Klutch source code “in different ways than using the code in its own application,” the US district judge for central California Stephen Wilson ruled.

Calendar’s counsel, Douglas Curran of Pierce Bainbridge, tells Law360 that StubHub and its lawyers “tried to convince the court to sidestep the remaining trade secrets claims, (but) that tactic didn’t work.”

“The evidence we’ve already uncovered shows that StubHub and eBay knew about the scheme to steal our client’s trade secrets, and they actively participated in and encouraged it,” said Curran. “Now, StubHub has to turn over its own documents so we can figure out who exactly knew what, and when exactly they knew it. StubHub and other companies like it need to understand that they can’t take intellectual property from startups without paying for it.”

StubHub’s lawyer, meanwhile, welcomes the judge’s ruling that Calendar “‘must define trade secrets with greater specificity’” if it hopes ultimately to win the case.

Image: PXhere